Category Archives: megaliths

Power Places and the Kanayama Megaliths

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Megaliths as Power Places

Earth and Celestial Energies.  Humans have long held a deep relationship with Earth and its energies. Even as hunter-gatherers, early man knew places of power as sacred places. They gathered at these sites to honor and venerate life-giving energies of Earth and Sky.

People became aware of fluctuations of these terrestrial energies, and they realized that these earth cycles were related to celestial cycles, the movements of Sun, Moon, and stars in our sky. They knew how to live in harmony with these energies.

Megaliths.  Soon, humans learned that these energies could benefit the health and welfare of people and society, that these energies were associated with naturally occuring megaliths. They learned, as they settled down and began cultivating crops, how to improve their lives. At first, they utilized megaliths to mark significant places. Then they assembled them into megalithic structures, often moving huge boulders from far away, to these special sites — how we do not know. Thus, energies were enhanced. Energies could be redirected to areas where needed, for example, to their crop fields. Megalithic structures could be erected to tamp excessive earth energies such as those due to earthquakes.

As modern research technologies have advanced, and our minds have been opened to new ways of viewing early societies, we have come to better understand early man. These megalithic places served multiple purposes, the least and the last of which was to serve as cemeteries. Through more accurate dating of materials, we know that the structures were built in the 4,000 BCE time-frame, that they were later and only occasionally re-purposed as burial sites.

Purposes of megaliths.  As mentioned, megalithic sites served to mark sacred places; they were developed to manage earth and celestial energies to benefit society. And, finally, megalithic structures were designed and built and operated to serve as observatories. They could then provide accurate data for calendars and for predicting future celestial phenomena, to know when there would be significant changes in energy.

Each of these megalithic observatories investigated the celestial body pertinent to that particular site. Although these observatories were a late development, there are not so many that are known to us today. 

In summary, let’s list the purposes of megaliths and megalithic structures, in roughly chronological order.

+ Identify locations of sacred sites,

+ Hold sacred ceremonies to venerate life-giving force of Universe,

+ Control and manage energies for beneficial purposes,

+ Learn periodic fluctuations of celestial energies affecting earth energies,

+ Observe celestial phenomena in specially-built observatories to determine more exactly the timing of special energies,

+ Determine an accurate calendar of the year/years.

Kanayama Megalithic Observatory

Deep in a mountain forest on the main island of the Japanese archipelago lies a megalithic solar observatory. This site has recently come to the attention of those outside of Japan as the source of a super-accurate solar calendar. This calendar of the tropical year is based on sunlight observation and is 15 times more accurate than our modern calendar. The megaliths were shaped and assembled more than 5,000 years ago. We know, because later humans deposited ashes that have so been dated.

Japanese news media have termed this solar observatory a “power spot”. People have been coming from near and far to experience this remarkable achievement from long ago. They are amazed at the ancient people’s knowledge of astronomy, of their skill in shaping 100-ton and 200-ton blocks of stone, of moving them with precision into desired — and well-planned — configurations. These configurations enable a human observer to accurately track sunbeams and their patterns over the course of the year. at special times, special phenomena are observed. These times of observation determine the solar calendar.

This sun-tracking station is situated amidst tall trees in the mountains near a rushing river. To track the sun would have been simpler if the site were on a flat plain as in most other calendrical observatories. However, the site was cleverly chosen so that it could operate in winter as well as in summer, throughout the entire tropical year.

What’s also remarkable is that two non-specialist researchers have, in less than 20 years, decoded the purpose of this megalithic site. Actually, it is a system of three sites which cooperate to produce all the needed observations, and more. These modern researchers in fact have accomplished their own feat of reverse engineering. They have deduced, from what they themselves have observed, what the original purpose of each megalithic solar event was, and the functions of each megalithic structure.

And to top it off, they are able to explain to the large tour groups how it all works, in language that is simple and direct, uncluttered by scientific jargon. They have already published a fully-illustrated guidebook to the site and have a more technical bi-lingual book in preparation.

The Kanayama Megaliths are a living example of an ancient scientific system. To young children and adults alike it teaches basic astronomy ‘in the field’ so that everyone can experience being a sun tracker in megalithic times.

Concluding Remarks

Megaliths are found all over the globe. They are well-known in Europe, less evident in the Far East. This post was inspired by the article of Martin Gray  about megaliths of Europe. We then related it to our own research at Kanayama Megaliths.  Photo of a tour group at Kanayama Megaliths by Okunomichi.



Narasaki’s Lines of Power for Agriculture

Narasaki Iyashirochi figure

Iyashirochi and agriculture

We have learned about Narasaki Kougetsu and the Katakamuna documents which he recorded. Now let us look at his technical work. Narasaki was an eletrical engineer working in the mountains of Hyogo-ken after the Second World War. His work involved electrical power lines with special interest in their effect on the growing of plants and crops. His field work included studying the terrain in the mountain range of Rokkosan. Narasaki found that the location of an iron foundry could be correlated to superior or inferior grades of iron produced there.

He found correlations of mountain peaks and valleys with lines of high and low life energies. Lines of high energy connect mountain peaks. These lines he called iyashirochi. Lines connecting valleys have low energy and he called them kegarechi. Kegare is a word denoting negative qualities.

It is difficult to translate iyashirochi. It is related to places of iyashi or iyasaka, which are positive nouns. Kobayashi Bigen Sensei recommends as a toast to abundance and happiness the ancient Iyasaka! rather than the current Kampai or the former Banzai.

Nevertheless, iyashirochi have high electrical potential. Iyashirochi are characterized by an abundance of negative ions which strengthen the body. Also the negative ions balance the positive ions and there is a natural flow of charges, more energy moving. As Alfred Watkins in England showed, ley lines are lines of power. Iyashirochi may be ley lines of similar power.

As is known, dowsing is a technique used to find deposits of water, ley lines, stone walls, and other underground objects. In Japan, a dowser using a branch of the hashibami hazelnut tree can feel certain changes when near such objects. The explanation is given by a physicist from Sorbonne: underground water affects the earth’s magnetic field. The magnetic field is felt by the dowser’s body, and the effect is magnified and made visible by movement of the branch.

A team of three scientists has connected dowsing to megaliths. John Taylor is a professor at Kings College in England. Eduardo Baronofsky is an Argentinian expert. Bill Louis is a dowser with technical experience. He can feel water under stone circles that is flowing to other stone monuments. He places his hands on megaliths and identifies points of circling, spiraling energy. He measures those places and finds that they have twice the magnetic field strength. From these experiments, we may conclude that megaliths do contain significant energy, in the form of magnetic energy.

Scientists and dowsers report that menhirs, dolmens, and other megalithic works have been placed at points of high energy. Generally these are places where ley lines cross. It can also be noted that in Australia, Aborigines hold ceremonies at power points characterized by megaliths and pictures of snakes. Snakes and their brethren, dragons, often represent these ley lines.

Ed. note:  Illustration and information from Narasaki’s book, Three Electrostatic Laws, see earlier post. Some of the information in this post comes from Akiyoneto, Nazo no Katakamuna Bunmei, Mystery of Katakamuna Civilization, 1981, and Narasaki’s book, Three Electrostatic Laws. See earlier posts. If you use the search box for keywords such as Katakamuna, Narasaki, etc., you will find many other related posts.


Hida Koku and Birth of Hida Kuni Jomon Dynasty


Iwaya-Iwakage,our sister site, has just posted a series of articles that begins:

Birth of Hida Kuni Jomon Dynasty

The land of Hida, where the Kanayama Megaliths are located, may not be so well known historically as other parts of the country such as Kyoto and Nara. And yet its history stems from the Jomon Period, 12,000 BCE to 300 BCE. In the article presented below, the unnamed author declares that there are many folkloric sources that reveal the possibility that Hida was the  place where civilization began, ultimately leading to the modern nation of Japan.


Hi no Michi, Path of Sun

A fuller report on Hi no Michi is presented by Iwaya Rockbat at:

Hi no michi ya

aoi katamuku

satsuki ame

— Basho

Hi no michi, the path of the sun in the sky.


Photo credit:

Hi no Michi alignment map.  We have recently encountered the map of important shrines throughout Japan connected by the Hi no Michi. Hi-no-michi mapSee:

Hi no Michi at Kanayama Megaliths.   The solar calendar of Kanayama Megaliths is based on the path of the sun during the year. The sun travels in a certain zone in the sky. Its northern limit is during the summer solstice day, while its southernmost is at winter solstice. At equinox, the sun travels the central path in the sky.




Introducing the Iwakage Megaliths

Photo of Iwaya-Iwakage Megaliths taken by IR.

Dear Reader of Okunomichi:

We are grateful for your interest in Okunomichi: The Path Beyond. We would now like to introduce you to our sister site:

The new site is dedicated to showcasing the wonders of the Kanayama Megaliths in Gifu, Japan. These remarkable megalithic structures form a sophisticated observatory for the observation of solar pathways in the sky. A super-accurate tropical calendar has been developed and has been in operation for thousands of years.

Learn more about the Kanayama Megaliths and Iwaya-Iwakage!

The Megaliths of Rokkosan: Koshiki-Iwa Jinja

Rokkosan is a fascinating mountain range in Hyogo-ken. It forms the mountains that are the backdrop to the port city of Kobe. As we wrote elsewhere, one of the shrines (Ikuta Jinja) on the mountain faces the port and has served as a lighthouse for ships at sea. The buildings of Kobe look new, and perhaps they are newly built, after the disastrous Kobe Hanshin earthquake of 1995. Prior to that, the city suffered greatly from American firebombing in 1945. Now the city is quite prosperous as a center of business activity. The cable car takes skiers and nature lovers up to the peak for a fine view of the city below. Many young and not-so-young regularly walk these hiker-friendly mountains. And yet, Rokkosan keeps its mystique.

There are many important shrines in the Kobe area. In fact, one of them, gave its name to the city. Kobe comes from Kambe, people appointed by the Emperor to maintain the shrine, and it means “Door to the Kami”.

Rokkosan has since prehistoric days been regarded as sacred. Megaliths of different types are found in those mountains, and some have clearly been worked by human hands. Standing stones in the mountains were the first shrines created by man. Archaeologists have found artifacts supporting ceremonies held on sacred grounds from long ago.

We present our photos of megaliths at different locations of Rokkosan. Here, we showcase the megaliths of Koshiki-iwa Jinja.

Koshiki-iwa Megalith Monument of Wakahime Shrine

This is the megalithic monument towering over the Wakahima hokora. See that post. These are photos of the front, side and back. Note how beautifully the arcs of the two stones fit.

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Other megaliths on the grounds include a grouping with a small passageway. The compass (red arrow points north) indicates that the alignment of the passageway is toward the west, probably sunset of the equinoxes.

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Another east-west alignment passageway, and other megaliths.

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Hida: Roots of Nihon

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by Yamamoto Kenzo, born 1912, 1999 softcover book, 68 pp. Bought at Kuraiyama in 2011 for 1,000 yen. For reference, an oku-nen is 10^8 years, or 100 million years. Hida is the name of an ancient kuni land in central Japan. The Hida mountain range of Nagano and Gifu is popularly called the Japanese Alps.

Geologically speaking, the land of Hida was born 20 okunen = 2×10^9 years (2 billion years) ago. Fukuchi Onsen in Oku-Hida has the oldest kaseki fossil stones, 4 oku 8 sen man nen = 4.8 oku nen = 4.8×10^8 years old. At that time, the whole earth was covered with a lot of water. 3,000 meter mountains were like islands.

Hida Norikura yama’s main peak is Kengamine, 3026 m, the highest in the archipelago at that time. Mt. Fuji grew taller later, due to eruptions. At that time, only mountains taller than 3,000 m rose above sea level.

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This book is mainly about Ohirumemuchi no Mikoto, who is better known as Amaterasu Omikami, and the continent of Hida. Yes, Hida was a continent 80 man-nen ago, 800,Roots Hida Tairiku000 years ago.  The first Japanese people appeared here 700,000 to 500,000 years ago. They did not come from elsewhere. Yes, people arose in this land.They were born from water. Where did the water come from? From the moon.

Roots Uakata-sama       Awa no Uakata-sama, a sage known simply as Uakata (leader), revealed secrets to 23-year old school teacher Yamamoto (author of this book) in 1935. The venerable one was from a long lineage of uakata; uakata became known as Sumera Mikoto, the ancient title for emperor. Because Yamamoto had shown ability to heal people, Uakata-sama chose him to pass on ancient teachings with the promise that Yamamoto pass them on, in turn.

Uakata-sama said that Hirumemuchi no Mikoto was a powerful woman whose dreams saved the country. Could she have been a shamaness or a spiritual master? She is also known as Amaterasu Omikami.

The theme of the book is the true history of how the Sumera Mikoto organized the people so that they could live happily with honor and compassion. This is the message that was entrusted to Yamamoto.

Yamamoto listened carefully and studied the history of the area as well as geology. But time flew by and he found himself at age seventy hearing once again the voice of Uakata-sama. He was reminded of his promise. Yamamoto went around to places which he had heard of from Uakata-sama, and verified kodai-seshi, the true history of Japan before Jimmu. Yamamoto was eighty-five when he wrote this book.

Mukashi, mukashi, long long ago, there was the land of O^yashima. On this land was Mt. Awayama = Norikura-dake. On this mountain was a pond, Nyu-no-ike. Life came out of this pond. All life appeared and evolved; land expanded and people appeared. We are all from Awayama. Awayama is Mt. Awa. ‘A’ means Heaven, ‘Wa’ means Earth. Life appeared from A-Wa.

The old days were humid and hot. People went north where it was cooler, but grandchildren came back to HIda. The river Nyu-kawa was the entrance to Hida.

When people died, they were buried in a place where they also built a pond (ike). The Hida-jin people of Hida practiced a meditation called Mitama-shizume, calming the spirit. It is also known as Hidaki, holding (daki) the sun (hi). The name, Hida, comes from abbreviating Hidaki to Hida. The people would sit around the ike and gaze at the sun or moon reflected in the pond. This was practiced at Hidaki no miya. There used to be 30 such miya, now there are 19 shrines, all with Hidaki no miya in their name. Here is a map showing 13 of these shrines.

Roots Mitama shizumeRoots Hidaki Miya

After the first ice age ended, it became 7 degrees warmer. Hida was cool and pleasant. The Hida people made votive objects called sekkan, stones shaped something like a one-layered wedding cake. They used them when praying for ancestors.

At the end of the Jomon period, it became cold again with much snow. People moved to warmer places, and they lived happily.

DSCN0790     The 15th generation Uakata-sama saw that Hida was getting cold again, so they moved their miyako capital to Miyamura. Miyamura is at the foot of Kuraiyama. They took megaliths to Kuraiyama where they buried generations of Sumera Mikoto ancestors around the megaliths. This is why Kuraiyama is a sacred mountain and has many megaliths on it. The first Sumera Mikoto was named Kuraiyama no Mikoto.

The ichii no ki, a type of yew tree, was used to make the board for writing the authority for Roots Shakuthe next Sumera Mikoto. This shows that there was writing in those days. We see the board today in the shaku held by the emperor and Shinto priests. The ichii no ki only grows on Kuraiyama. This board was called kurai-ita, Kuraiyama rank board.

The second migration took place at the end of the Jomon period due to another cold wave. The Hida-jin made sekkan in reverse shape, i.e., with an indentation in the middle rather than a protrusion. About six dozen have been found in Hida, and dozens elsewhere in the islands. These are called gyobutsu-ishi. With these ishi, Hida-jin went south with ancestors’ spirits.

What I notice in the story is the great reverence that Hida-jin held for ancestors. It is not ancestor-worship but rather, holding an honest appreciation for the contributions of generations before. This is done through the practice of meditating on the reflection of the sun or moon in the pond, or Hidaki. They would do this before making major decisions such as when and where to move.

Part 2 follows.

Megaliths as Ancient Shrines


(c) Okunomichi 2012

Let’s discuss rocks and stones. We often use these words interchangeably. Are they different? Instead of the common word for stone, ishi, the Japanese sometimes use the word, iwa. If the ishi is a smallish stone, then iwa is a largish rock like a boulder. When we examine the kanji 岩 for iwa, we see the character for mountain over that for stone so it represents a mountain stone.

While megaliths occur naturally, there is evidence that some have been worked on by ancient people. Megaliths were often transported over great distances to special sites on the peaks of mountains (such as megaliths from the island of Shikoku on top of 2599 meter tall Mt Kinpusan in Yamanashi). Megaliths are also iwakura, stone seats for kami deities. The connotation is that kami descend from an unseen world to sit on or in the stones. Megaliths are found within iwasaka, 岩 境 or 磐 境, sacred enclosures, which were probably early shrines. Megaliths can be regarded as iwa no hashira, pillars of rock. The pillar is an important metaphor in sacred literature around the world. It represents a sacred mountain, the center of the world, the world axis.

Why are megaliths sacred? Megaliths connect ki of heaven spiraling down and ki of earth spiraling up. The movements of heaven and earth are celebrated and joined in matsuri, festivals to kami of heaven and earth.

I visited Kanayama Megaliths in Gifu Prefecture at the time of the autumn equinox in September. There are three Shinto shrines in front of the Iwaya-Iwakage megalith grouping, indicating that people have considered this site a sacred place. Let us note that the word, iwaya, 岩 屋, or house of rock, is also translated as cavern or grotto, and even as sanctuary, and Iwakage means the shade of the rock. It feels good to be in Iwaya-Iwakage. The beam of sunlight entering from the “ceiling” was easily revealed by the smoke of burning incense. I sat on the rock on the west side of the “sanctuary” and when I was alone, I felt Iwaya’s beauty and peace. The smoke in the sunbeam was swirling around and it was mesmerizing to watch. It seemed like there was a spiraling energy right here in Iwaya.

Sakai’s List of Japanese Pyramids

Sakai Katsutoki published a book, The Pyramids of Japan, in 1934. Here is his list of 12 pyramid mountains.

  1.  葦嶽山/広島県     Ashitake Yama, Hiroshima
  2. 尖山/富山県     Togari yama, Toyama
  3. 位山/岐阜県     Kuraiyama, Gifu
  4. 五葉山/岩手県     Goyosan, Iwate
  5. 大石神/青森県     Oishigami, Aomori
  6. 黒又山/秋田県     Kuromanta yama, Akita
  7. 三瓶山/島根県     Sanbin yama, Shimane
  8. 剣山/徳島県     Tsurugi san, Tokushima
  9. 日室ガ嶽/京都府     Himurogatake, Kyoto fu
  10. 皆神山/長野県     Minakami yama, Nagano
  11. 千貫森/福島県     Sengan mori, Fukushima
  12. 八幡山/兵庫県     Hachiman yama, HyogoSakai pyramid map_0001

A Japanese pyramid is said to have three characteristics.

1.  It is triangular in profile. While Egyptian and Mayan pyramids have square bases, Japanese pyramids usually have a circular base although there are square ones as well.

2.  At the mountain peak are iwakura, rock seats where kami are said to descend. These are not only large stones, they are megaliths. They may be arranged in different ways. For example, some are menhirs, others are table-formed, others are stone circles.

3.  Since the iwakura are sacred, there is usually a worship location to pray to the kami of the mountain.

We believe that before there was Shinto, or even Koshinto, the spiritual practice of the ancient people was to connect with the universe on mountaintops. Later, when shrine building were erected, they were situated with certain alignments, east-west being a favored one. Also favored were solsticial alignments. At the latitudes of the archipelago, the directions would have been 30 degrees north and south of east.